Benn Pitman’s many talents extended into art. He introduced woodcarving courses at the School of Design, as well as china painting, which attracted many upper-crust society women. Pitman
was ahead in recognizing the artistry of women and helped foster their talents.
1879, M. Louise McLaughlin (One of Benn Pitmans’ students) discovered a technique for decorating pottery under the glaze. M. Louise McLaughlin literally wrote the book on china painting and developed the processes that would be used by Rookwood’s artists. “It was the beginning of the Arts and Crafts movement,” McLaughlin recalled, “and it was given to Cincinnati to take the first step in its organized development in America.” In 1938, the American Ceramic Society recognized McLaughlin for discovering the underglaze technique used by Rookwood.